World's Best Student
Shashi Narayan, ranked number one among 17 students from all over the world for an Erasmus Mundus scholarship, chooses the University of Malta.
Click here for further details.
17 June 2009
Dr Anton Tabone Annual Memorial Lecture
On Friday 12, June 2009, the Department of Public Policy (Faculty of Economics, Management and Accountancy) at the University of Malta held the first Dr Anton Tabone Memorial Lecture. The event was sponsored by Magro Bros of Gozo, producers of the Mayor range of food products, who also made the hall at Tigrija Palazz available for the occasion.
Mgr Dr Joseph Bezzina spoke about Dr Anton Tabone's life while Prof. Godfrey Pirotta gave a lecture on the theme 'The Gozo Civic Council: Lessons for Today.' After the lecture Mr Anton Tabone, son of Dr Tabone and former Speaker of the House of Representatives, gave a short speech thanking the department for organizing the Memorial Lecture. He then distributed the awards for academic excellence and best dissertations to the students who graduated in 2007 and 2008. The event was attended by relatives of Dr Anton Tabone, mayors from Gozo's Local Councils, representatives of the Association for Local Councils and members of the public, in addition to Public Policy students.
16 June 2009
ICT and Engineering Exhibitions
University Students’ Projects at ICT and Engineering Exhibitions
138 final year student projects are being showcased at the University of Malta’s Faculty of Engineering and Faculty of Information and Communication Technology (ICT)exhibitions being held on Friday 3rd July between 1700hrs and 2000hrs. The Engineering projects exhibition is also open on Saturday 4 July between 0900hrs and 1300hrs.
The exhibitions have been held since 1998 and are open to the general public. They provide visitors with the opportunity to gain firsthand experience of the various student projects and state-of-the-art laboratories pertaining to different departments at the Faculty of Engineering. The experience will help prospective students make a more informed career choice.
The exhibitions also highlight past and present collaboration efforts with local and international industry. The Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Prof. Robert Ghirlando commented, 'as has always been the case, the Faculty would like this exhibition to be a meeting place for both industry and academia, a showcase of the present capabilities and potential value of the University’s students.'
All six departments within the Faculty of Engineering are participating. These are the departments of Mechanical Engineering, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, Metallurgy and Materials Engineering, Systems Control Engineering, Industrial Electrical Power Conversion and Electronic Systems Engineering.
An Information seminar for prospective students of the Faculty of Engineering will be held on Friday 3 July at 1600hrs at Sir Temi Zammit Hall on campus. For more information click here.
The Dean of the Faculty of ICT, Dr Ernest Cachia, said he was looking forward to the completion of a new avant-guarde eco-friendly building for the Faculty of ICT, scheduled to be completed within three years. 'ICT students will have the latest facilities to enable them to continue to excel in this area which is of strategic importance for Malta’s economy,' he said. The Faculty of ICT incorporates the departments of Computer Science, Intelligent Computer Systems, Computer Information Systems, Communications & Computer Engineering, and Microelectronics & Nanoelectronics. Not to be missed at this year’s exhibition is the bag of tricks that the humanoid robot Ġiġ will be showing off.
16 June 2009
Summer School in Maltese Linguistics, 15-26 June 2009
The University of Malta Institute of Linguistics in collaboration with the Department of Maltese launched its first Summer School in Maltese Linguistics at an opening ceremony held at the Old University Building in Valletta, on Monday 15 June. Prior to the launch, Prof. Joseph M. Brincat delivered a public lecture on Maltese and other languages: A linguistic history of Malta.
The Official Opening was addressed by University of Malta Pro-Rector, Dr Mary Anne Lauri, Dr Ray Fabri, Chairman, Institute of Linguistics, Prof. Albert Borg, Department of Maltese and Dr Alexandra Vella, Summer School Coordinator.
The Summer School will be held from 15-26 June 2009 and is being co-ordinated by the Foundation for International Studies Ltd. Its main aim is to give practising linguists and students of linguistics a flavour of the structure of the Maltese language, as well as of the context within which Maltese thrives.
Non-Maltese linguists who have chosen to work with Maltese as one of their primary sources of data often have to resort to dictionary and/or native-speaker information in the absence of a backdrop which could serve to better inform their interpretation of the data being analysed. The Summer School therefore aims to provide linguists and linguists-to-be with information on Maltese that will help them better use the resources available to them in their research. The Summer School also provides a forum for Maltese linguists to showcase their research and lays the ground for collaboration between Maltese linguists and linguists from overseas. The main objectives of the Summer School are therefore: to enhance further interest in the Maltese language, to provide a showcase of state-of-the art research on various aspects of Maltese linguistics and applied linguistics (historical linguistics, sociolinguistics, computational linguistics, sign linguistics, language planning, etc.) and to increase contact between Maltese linguists and foreign linguists working on Maltese.
The Summer School is organised around three strands: the sound system of Maltese, the Maltese lexicon, grammar and meaning, and Maltese in context. The sound system of Maltese provides an overview of the historical development of Maltese phonology and deals with pronunciation including segmental and syllable structure, stress and intonation. The Maltese lexicon, grammar and meaning strand examines the structure of Maltese words and sentences and looks at processes such as inflection, compounding, derivation, word order, topicalisation, verbless structures and tense. The strand Maltese in context examines the linguistically rich context within which Maltese continues to thrive and sketches work being done in areas such as language planning, language use in the media, Maltese Sign Language and computer technologies and Maltese. Effects on Maltese of its recently acquired status as an official language of the EU will also be discussed and a brief foray into Maltese literature made. An optional course in Maltese for adults/foreigners is also being offered to interested participants in parallel to the Summer School through L-Iskola tal-Malti.
The fact that the Summer School will take place in Malta is important in the context of the aims of the Summer School in that participants will be able to appreciate, at first hand, the richness of the linguistic situation in Malta. In-course excursions to various historical sites, some with linguistic interest, should further serve to enhance the overall experience for participants in the Summer School.
The Summer School is an excellent example of collaboration and teamwork at the University of Malta. It is being organised by the Institute of Linguistics in collaboration with the Department of Maltese through the Foundation for International Studies. 11 lecturers coming from the Institute of Linguistics and from 3 different Faculties (Arts, Education and ICT) are involved. Besides the Institute of Linguistics, 5 Departments are involved in this year’s Summer School, together with L-Iskola tal-Malti.
The number of participants in this year’s Summer School is relatively small, however, future Summer Schools look very promising, given the large number of foreigners from places as far apart as Australia, Israel and the US, as well as from Britain, France and Germany, amongst others, who have expressed an interest in participating when the Summer School is run again.
L to R: Ms Celine Farrugia, International Programmes Manager FIS Ltd, Dr Ray Fabri Chairman Institute of Linguistics, Dr Mary Anne Lauri Pro Rector, Prof. Albert Borg, Department of Maltese
15 June 2009
Mediterranean Deep Waters
Experts meet in Malta to discuss the fate of the Mediterranean Deep Waters
The International Commission for the Scientific Exploration of the Mediterranean (CIESM) held their latest workshop focusing on the Mediterranean Deep Waters, in Malta between the 27–30 May at the Dolmen Hotel, Qawra. The workshop was hosted by the Physical Oceanography Unit of the IOI-Malta Operational Centre at the University of Malta.
This workshop gathered specialists from different marine disciplines to review advances and gaps in the current knowledge on the Mediterranean deep-sea system, and to propose priorities for future research. The current changes occurring at a fast, unprecedented pace in the Mediterranean Sea were assessed. The CIESM experts tracked and analysed these changes in the quest to ascertain their cause, to quantify impacts, and to attempt predicting their future evolution.
The Mediterranean is considered to behave like a small ocean, in the sense that its geographical, morphological and hydrological characteristics allow several oceanographic processes, found at large scale in the major oceans, to occur also there on a reduced scale. A key example is the wintertime formation of dense water, mainly in the Gulf of Lyons and the Adriatic and Cretan Seas, through interaction with the atmosphere, and further sinking by convection or cascading. From the 1960s, the dense water formation processes were studied in both Eastern and Western Mediterranean basins, giving rise to various hypotheses and models for the complex mechanisms taking place, and pushing the oceanographic community to monitor and characterise the different water masses involved. These studies have confirmed that the Mediterranean Sea is a very vulnerable system that may easily switch to irreversible states that may alter its dynamics and permanently impact its ecosystem.
Experts participation to the CIESM Workshop in Malta
Some components of the deep waters nature and behaviour are still quite obscure to our knowledge, as the spreading paths and forcings, their full chemical characterisation, or the origin of intense transformations that may occur at several years scale. The Eastern Mediterranean Transient in the late '80s was a major example that led to a new regime of warmer and saltier intermediate and deep waters that now seem to have impacted the Western basin.
CIESM, supports a network of several thousand marine researchers, applying the latest scientific tools to better understand, monitor and protect a fast-changing, highly impacted Mediterranean Sea. This Commission runs expert workshops, collaborative programs and regular congresses, delivering authoritative, independent advice to national and international agencies. The Commission in Malta is represented by Prof. Aldo Drago, Director of the IOI-Malta Operational Centre.
A monograph of proceedings will follow as a good compilation of the ideas, analysis and proposals for future research. Visit the CIESM website
11 June 2009
Upgrading of Giordan Lighthouse GAW Research Station
Upgrading of Giordan Lighthouse Global Atmospheric Watch (GAW) Research Station
The University of Malta is one of the beneficiaries of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) under the Cohesion Policy Programme 2007-2013. The Department of Physics within the Faculty of Science will be benefitting under the project "Upgrading of Giordan Lighthouse Global Atmospheric Watch (GAW) Research Station", with the aim of installing "state of the art" equipment for pollution monitoring at Giordan Lighthouse, Gozo and turning the refurbished premises at the University Gozo Centre in Xewkija, Gozo into a research facility accommodating a group of five researchers.
The setting up of this project shall enable the collection of data on environmental parameters such as atmospheric pollutants and other meteorological data that are of prime importance to the improvement of the physical environment and the mitigating measures that need to be taken in the Mediterranean to counter the Climate changes that will be taking place in a relatively drastic way over the next 50 to 100 years.
The GAW air monitoring and research station described will contain extremely sensitive monitoring equipment not otherwise available in the Maltese islands. It will work both in a local and international research context and will enable the University to monitor key pollutants and emissions in the Central Mediterranean and trace the original sources back to their origin in, for example, Northern Europe, North America, SE Asia. This will enable the researchers to build up a picture of worldwide emissions effecting the Mediterranean.
More specifically this station will therefore:
- provide key knowledge about our atmospheric environment while employing and training doctoral students
- increase substantially the country's contribution to R&D both locally and internationally in the field of pollution and climate change
- promote public awareness of these factors by making the information freely available on a publicly accessible website.
The project will also:
- contribute towards long term employment opportunities at the University Gozo centre by employing two doctoral researchers and one administrator in addition to the Technical officer presently employed on the project thus increasing opportunities in a less developed area
- it will also continue to address the issue of education and training (over the past ten years, with limited equipment, it has produced all the graduates locally employed in air quality measures), through undergraduate and graduate involvement in the research
- will monitor the environment and discover the international problems associated with air quality in the Mediterranean as well as contributing directly to the UN database being amassed to study, predict and mitigate climate change.
It will also be in a position to provide support to local agencies such as MEPA, MMA, MRA, MRAE, Civil Protection, Meteorological office and Department of Health.
This project is part-financed by the European Union under the European Regional Development Fund 2007 – 2013.
11 June 2009
Mechanical Engineering Computer Modelling and Simulation Laboratory
Setting up of Mechanical Engineering Computer Modelling and Simulation Laboratory – University of Malta
The University of Malta is one of the beneficiaries of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) under the Cohesion Policy Programme 2007-2013. The Department of Mechanical Engineering within the Faculty of Engineering will be benefitting under the project "Setting up of Mechanical Engineering Modelling and Simulation Laboratory", with the aim of equipping the Department of Mechanical Engineering with state-of-the-art teaching and research facilities.
The Department of Mechanical Engineering offers both first degrees and post-graduate degrees as a springboard into Malta’s traditional as well as emerging industries such as the power, marine, and aviation industry.
The project, which is to be completed in 2010, draws from an allocation of over €400,000 and encompasses four major areas:
- acquiring various software packages for modelling and simulating mechanical engineering problems in marine engineering, fluid dynamics, stress and vibration analysis, wind energy, internal combustion engines, etc
- procuring the necessary IT hardware to run the above-mentioned software
- equipping the laboratory with the necessary furniture and services
- acquiring laboratory equipment of the latest technical specification.
This project is directed towards enabling the Department of Mechanical Engineering to facilitate knowledge transfer to students. The department will be able to support an increase in Malta’s engineering graduate population and also to offer courses with a greater diversity of specialisation streams, such as renewable energy, stress analysis, marine engineering, internal combustion engines, etc. This will ensure that the graduates of the Faculty of Engineering will be equipped with a variety of skills oriented towards their roles in Malta’s expanding high added-value industries, thus enabling the Maltese economy shift to one which is knowledge-based.
This project is part-financed by the European Union under the European Regional Development Fund 2007 – 2013.
01 June 2009
A 12 Year Study of Atmospheric Pollution in the Central Mediterranean
A Maltese - German Project, 1993 - 2009
by Professor Raymond Ellul, Physics Department, University of Malta
Date: Friday, 29 May 2009
Time: 1900hrs - 2000hrs
Place: Main Hall of the Ministry for Gozo
Professor Ellul runs the University (GAW) Atmospheric Research station located at Giordan lighthouse, Gozo and is project leader of a University initiative to upgrade this facility by the end of this year, using EU Structural funds. He has discussed and agreed with many participants at the meeting held at the World Meteorological Organisation, Geneva, Switzerland, new initiatives for Pollution and Climate Change research programmes to be implemented as from next year. These participants include many German and Swiss organisations and research institutes as well as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) at Boulder, Colorado, the leading United States organisation in the field. Prof. Ellul summarised the last 12 years’ work, carried out by the University of Malta as the responsible Maltese academic entity appointed by World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) to run the GAW station.
Professor Ellul started his talk by thanking all his previous and present co-workers and collaborators both locally and internationally.
Professor Ellul's presentation described the formation of the Earth 4700 million years ago and explained how its atmosphere developed to its present state, formed 570 million years ago. The greenhouse effect was then explained in simple terms and the global atmospheric circulation currents revealed with all their implications for the transport of pollutants around the globe and particularly the Mediterranean sea at 36 degrees North at the junction of two major Hadley cells.
Projections of the trace gas emissions, temperature and sea level rise were presented and the speaker then described the Earth's deep ocean circulation currents and their significance for climate change. Prof. Ellul presented projections for the Arctic and Antarctic Ice sheets and recounted the history of ice ages over the last few million years. The story of the Ozone concentration in the upper and lower atmosphere was described, distinguishing between the two interrelated but distinct phenomena. The presentation included some very informative shots of the present state of the ozone hole over Antarctica.
The speaker described The Global Atmospheric Watch Programme of the World Meteorological Organisation and then moved on to the question of the Mediterranean region, presenting some startling satellite photographs of Etna emissions, Saharan dust events and their effects on the Maltese Islands. Prof. Ellul described the location of the Global Atmospheric Watch station at Giordan lighthouse, Gozo, giving the reasons for choosing this strategic location and the instruments that have been functioning there over the last 12 years. The speaker then described the global ozone concentrations, both predicted and measured.
Prof. Ellul spoke of the actual measurement campaigns; the first was the ADIOS campaign to measure mineral dust and nutrients 2002 - 2003. The second was a three dimensional colour chart of the measured ozone concentrations over the twelve years' work and a poster showing modelling of ships' emissions effects on the Maltese islands. Prof. Ellul said it was no wonder that ozone concentrations were high. Featured also were recirculation events from the Maltese islands themselves. The measurement results from the Max Planck institute's 2001 MINOS campaign were shown and explained in terms of the transport of long range pollutants from the American continent, Northern Europe and South East Asia. The actual data for Ozone, Carbon monoxide and Sulphur dioxide were presented in a series of four graphs and the implications for the identification of regional and local emissions explained.
A further most interesting result was that showing Ozone concentrations from 1884 - 1900 compared with the present day ones. Historical records discovered at the Seminary in Victoria, Gozo and now archived at the University library, show that the Ozone concentration 100 years ago was a factor of 4-5 times lower than at present due to the industrialisation of the Mediterranean region.
The conclusions of the speaker were that:
- Ozone concentrations have probably increased by a factor of 4 – 5 over the last century.
- Ozone concentrations in the Central Mediterranean show a present day median value of around 50 ppbv – One of the highest in the Northern hemisphere with a correspondingly serious effect on local crop losses.
- Many anthropogenic (man made) events appear to originate from Sicily and Europe.
- The Carbon monoxide concentration shows a typical Northern hemisphere variation with many anthropogenic events being identified originating in Northern and Southern Europe.
- The Sulphur dioxide background is high with peaks both from the direction of the main island of Malta as well as the Malta – Sicily channel and possibly Etna.
- The Ships’ traffic in the Malta – Sicily channel needs to be quantified and the emissions measured. International action needs to be taken to limit these emissions.
Professor Ellul ended his talk by stating that much work still remained to be carried out and that the purpose of European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) 078 was the setting up of a modern research station for both local and international use as part of Malta's contribution to the UN programmes. This station would be set up with new equipment to measure background concentrations of Ozone, Carbon monoxide Sulphur dioxide, Nitrogen oxides, a wide variety of aerosols and black carbon emissions from ships as well as radioactive Radon emissions. Sampling of Particulates and analysis of Persistent Organic Pollutants and trace gases using flask sampling in collaboration with renowned institutes in Germany, Norway and the United States would also take place as agreed at the WMO meeting held at the beginning of May 2009 in Geneva.
29 May 2009
Regional Training Course in Water Reclamation and Reuse in the Mediterranean
The Regional Training Course in Water Reclamation and Reuse in the Mediterranean held at the Old University Building in Valletta was successfully completed. This programme was sponsored by the World Health Organisation and organised by the Cleaner Technology Centre and Malta University Consulting Ltd.
The academic contributors to the course were Dr George Kamizoulis (Senior Scientist at the WHO Regional Office for Europe in Athens, Greece), Prof. Rafael Mujeriego (Professor of Environmental Engineering at the Universidad Politecnica de Barcelona in Spain) and Mr Vincent Gauci (consultant on Environmental affairs to the Malta Environment & Planning Authority).
The participants, who were primarily staff members from the Ministries of Health and the Environment showed keen interest throughout the course and participated fully in the discussions, leading to the formulation of a list of recommendations. The course was brought to a close after certificates were distributed to the participants.
29 May 2009
A Celebration of Care
A conference marking the 20th anniversary of the introduction of Nursing and Midwifery Programmes within the curriculum of the University of Malta.
The Nursing and Midwifery Divisions of the Institute of Health Care, University of Malta, are holding a conference celebrating the 20th anniversary of the introduction of Nursing and Midwifery Programmes within the University of Malta, between 27 and 29 May 2009 at the Corinthia Palace Hotel, Attard.
The Institute of Health Care (IHC) was set up in 1988 specifically to develop courses in Health Care at tertiary level. Prof. John Rizzo Naudi who is currently the Chairman of the Institute of Health Care and Chancellor of the University was instrumental in introducing Nursing and Midwifery Education into the curriculum of the University of Malta. At the time, it was recognized that health care involves the efforts of a multidisciplinary team of caring professionals including Nurses and Midwives, who are responsible for the direct care of clients. The Institute of Health Care has grown over the past 20 years, also thanks to the contribution of the Directors, Prof. Anthony Serracino Inglott, Dr Gauden Galea and Dr Sandra Buttigieg.
In his address, the Hon. Mario Galea, Parliamentary Secretary for the Elderly and Community Services, himself a nurse, and a graduate of the University, emphasized the important impact that the move to a University education has had on the provision of nursing and midwifery care. He stated that whilst there is still some controversy with regards to whether nurses and midwives require a University education, the complexity and demands of the professions and the increased emphasis on interdisciplinary work and education necessitates that nurses and midwives receive the same level of academic preparation as other health care professionals, with a focus on evidence and research.
Over the past 20 years, over 1500 nurses and midwives have completed a course of studies within the Institute of Health Care with nearly 400 obtaining an undergraduate degree and 28 a post-graduate degree. A total of 9 different programmes of studies at both undergraduate and postgraduate level are currently offered including a diploma in nursing, Bachelor’s programmes in general nursing and midwifery, mental health nursing, community nursing and a Masters programme in nursing/midwifery studies. Prospects for employment for undergraduate and post graduate students have been remarkable in both the public and private sector, locally and overseas.
An integral part of the Institute is the development of research for staff and students. Participation in local and international conferences, publication, and enrolment in post graduate, Masters and PhD programmes is widespread amongst members of staff and students. Close links have been established with international universities, particularly in Europe and members of staff and students regularly participate in Erasmus exchange initiatives.
So far, the diploma and degree courses in nursing ran over a four-year period. As from October 2009, all diploma and degree programmes in nursing will run over a three-year period, congruent with trends in the development of nurse education worldwide. This has been made possible through the adoption of a more integrative approach to teaching and learning throughout the programmes.
The Nursing and Midwifery Divisions are striving towards the establishment of all graduate professions. In view of this, diplomate nurses and midwives are now provided with the opportunity to obtain a degree. To facilitate this, a new programme of studies utilising a blended approach of lectures, e-learning and self-directed learning is being developed to allow nurses in employment to pace their own studies and meet the demands of work commitments and continued development. Specialist undergraduate certificates are also being developed with the aim of allowing nurses working in highly specialised areas to acquire the advanced knowledge and skills required to provide optimal care in these clinical settings.
For further information regarding the Nursing Division, please contact Ms Roberta Sammut, Co-ordinator Nursing Division, on 23401831, or by email. For information on Midwifery courses please contact Dr Rita Borg Xuereb, Co-ordinator Midwifery Division, on 2340 1823, or by email.
Professor John Rizzo Naudi, Chairman, Institute of Health Care, University of Malta,
addressing the conference 'A Celebration of Care'
The Hon. Mario Galea, Parliamentary Secretary, Elderly and Community Care, addressing the conference 'A Celebration of Care'
28 May 2009
22 May 2013